I brought my co-worker Joe to the Makerspace last night for Builders Night Out. Joe has a project to share a motor between his meat grinder and sauce maker machines. (Not at the the same time but to interchange easily.) The problem is that each machine has a different size shaft. He needed an adapter that would allow the motor to connect to the sauce maker.
When we got to the space, Jim introduced Joe to Tom. Joe explained what he was trying to do. After five minutes, they had brainstormed a solution. Less than 60 minutes later, we were putting the tools away and Joe had a working solution that was exactly what he wanted.
Joe came to the space simply looking for ideas. He left with an elegant adapter that met his need and it cost him nothing. He (and I) was blown away by the whole experience.
I love the Makerspace! Thanks to Tom and Jim for their excellent help!
In case you were wondering, the initial problem was to fit a flat, stainless steel shaft into a round socket. The socket will connect to the motor and turn the shaft. The shaft must fit snugly into the socket and not move.
There are several ways to approach this problem. Tom, Jim, and Joe came up with a very elegant and simple solution that did not alter any of the parts and could be disassembled if needed. The solution was to cut a nut in half, machine down the in sides, and then put the pieces of the nut next to the shaft in the socket. The nut fit perfectly in the socket. Machining the insides of the nut took less than 60 minutes to do the work. The finished pieces pit perfectly against the shaft.
I don’t have pictures. If I get some, I will add to this post.
Ahhh, Dr. Who. A British classic loved by generations of slightly different characters. My son happens to be one of those people who are fans of the good doctor (I’m warming up). So, when I saw plans for a Tardis on Thingiverse, I knew I had to make it.
I printed the pieces for the Tardis over the last few weeks on our Makerbot Replicator 3D printer, then painted them navy blue. I still need to add the signs but it is all assembled and looks great. I’d also like to add some small LEDs inside to make it light up.
The plans for printing the Tardis seem to be one of the better sets on Thingiverse. Printing them on the Makerbot 3D printer is very easy. All you need is the files, and a computer with the MakerWare software connected to the Makerbot with a USB cable (the Makerbot also accepts a SD card but printing directly from a PC is much easier). The Makerware software turns the drawing files into g-code files that the Makerbot can understand. After MakerWare renders the g-code data it sends it to the printer and Bob’s your uncle.
If you want to print your own Tardis at the Makerspace, the stl files are on the computer in the 3d printing area in the Things folder on the desktop.
The project page on the wiki is here.
Thanks to Joe and Buggs and anyone else who helped me with friendly advice on 3d printing and the Makerbot.
For years I have wanted to make a simple device to launch a model rocket. This Saturday, my son Tim and I built it at the Makerspace. The launcher consists of a project box with some external connectors for the wires that go to the rocket, an arming switch, an LED to signal that the circuit is good, and a launch button. It took about four hours to make including several mistakes and backtracks.
We tested the circuit and it works as planned. The real test will be tomorrow when we attempt to launch some rockets at the park.